Readersforum's Blog

April 30, 2011

Superman threatens to renounce US citizenship

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 10:09 am

Conservative commentators and bloggers react with disgust to the DC Comics superhero’s decision.

Superman threatens to renounce his US citizenship in the latest issue of Action Comics. Photograph: AP

By David Batty

After years of declaring he stood for “truth, justice and the American way,” Superman has provoked the ire of rightwingers by threatening to renounce his US citizenship.

In the latest issue of Action Comics, which went on sale on Wednesday, the Man of Steel decides to take the step after he intervenes in a protest against the Iranian government.

After the Islamic regime brands his non-violent protest as an act of war taken on behalf of the US president, the DC comic hero says he will renounce his citizenship before the United Nations.

“I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy,” he says.

Although Superman never actually renounces his citizenship in the story, conservative commentators reacted with disgust.

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The Bookseller Group to launch We Love This Book

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 10:01 am

The publisher behind The Bookseller is launching an ambitious new quarterly consumer book magazine and website this June, We Love This Book.

The magazine will look at what to read each season. Distributed free to readers via independent bookshops, small chains like Foyles, libraries and festivals, it will have a 100,000 circulation and a website hub for readers. The magazine will also be available on subscription. Sam Husain, chief executive of Foyles, said: “This is a great initiative and much needed in the present climate. I am sure it will increase awareness of books and the latest titles.”

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Faber to commemorate William Golding centenary

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 9:46 am

By Charlotte Williams

Faber is marking 100 years since the birth of William Golding by issuing centenary editions of both Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors.

The books will carry a golden stamp announcing the anniversary, and will have specially commissioned introductions. The Shining author Stephen King has penned the introduction to Lord of the Flies, which was first published in 1954. Meanwhile, Professor John Carey has written the introduction to The Inheritors.

The latter was Golding’s second novel, first published in 1955, with a plot that revolves around the extinction of the last tribe of Neanderthals.

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With Latest Donation, N.Y.U. Food Library Joins Big Leagues

Marvin J. Taylor, director of the Fales Library at New York University, one of the largest food research libraries in the country.

Anna Bennett, a senior at New York University, was puzzled about where to find research material for a nine-page paper. “The topic was ‘Write whatever you want about a food group, recipe or ethnic food,’ ” she said. “The first thing that came to mind was Ethiopian food.”She went online and started an instant-message chat with a librarian deep inside the university’s fortresslike Bobst Library, across West Fourth Street from Washington Square Park: Do you have any cookbooks?

Do we ever, came the reply, or words to that effect. The librarian referred her to Marvin J. Taylor, who presides over a library-within-a-library that has become one of the nation’s largest food-related collections. “He said: ‘Look up this cookbook. I think it would work,’ ” Ms. Bennett recalled. “It did.”

For Mr. Taylor, finding an unusual cookbook is not that unusual because the collection he oversees, the Fales Library, now has more than 50,000 volumes. In February it acquired 21,000 books about food and cooking, donated by George and Jenifer Lang, the longtime owners of Café des Artistes on the Upper West Side.

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April 29, 2011

How Do You Get Unblocked?

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , — Bookblurb @ 3:22 pm

 Rumpus contributor Sari Botton blogged about how she’s started writing first drafts longhand in an effort to combat a two-years-long bout of writer’s block.

“Part of the problem is how much I’ve come…to associate my laptop with social networking, and the internet in general. My brain no longer knows how to relate a story through a thrumming electronic device, even when I’ve got Freedom running.”

We thought it would be interesting to get a conversation going here about writer’s block and how to overcome it.

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Pan Mac buys six from School of Life

By Katie Allen

Pan Macmillan has signed a six-book deal with London self-help bookshop The School of Life.

Editorial directors Liz Gough and Cindy Chan bought world rights in the series directly from The School of Life.

The “intelligent, rigorous, well-written” self-help titles are lined up for spring 2012, and will be written by authors including the founder of The School of Life, philosopher Alain de Botton, Simon Blackburn and John Armstrong. They will discuss issues such as work, sex, emotional health and self-esteem.

The School of Life, set up in 2008, runs seminars, talks and events from its shop in London’s Bloomsbury on topics such as “How Necessary is a Relationship” and “A Voyage In Epicuriosity”. The School also has a weekly column in the Observer.

Edmund de Waal on Proust: The writer behind the hare

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 2:01 pm

The potter and award-winning author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes, memoirist Edmund de Waal, explains why Proust is at the heart of his family’s story.

By Edmund de Waal

Click to buy

I have just come back from Paris. The Hare with Amber Eyes, my attempted retracing of the history of my Jewish family over 200 years through a very large collection of very small objects, was being launched in France. I had a round of interviews and lectures to survive. The book’s new name, La Mémoire Retrouvée, could not be more Proustian and I was convinced this was a hostage to fortune. My very first radio interview was short. The interviewer was svelte and cross. You are an Englishman, she told me, and I believe you are actually a potter. Your book seems to concern Proust. How has this come about?

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The last chapter

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 12:02 pm

The end of books is good for writers and readers

By Tom Keane

BORDERS in Boston’s Back Bay is closing, a familiar story in a recession that has laid waste to many once-prominent names. But this time, something’s different.

When most stores fail, we understand that to be some combination of bad luck, poor management, and hard times. It’s tough luck for investors and employees, but not really for us as consumers. We know we’ll always have places to shop for clothing, furniture, electronics, and the like.

Not so with books. When Borders shutters, Boston will have, permanently, one fewer bookstore. Barnes & Noble won’t be eyeing its empty site on Boylston Street as a possible location for expansion. Nor will we see any new bookstore start-ups. There are a great many business ideas where some entrepreneur can strike it rich; bookselling is no longer one of them.

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April 28, 2011

Famous Authors And Their Typewriters

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 2:11 pm

 By Emily Temple

There’s something magical about catching a glimpse of one of your favorite authors at work – even a photo of the epic event can send an anxious thrill down your spine, as if you might be able to see some hint of literary genius in posture or setting, in attire or facial expression. And it’s even better if they’re working on a typewriter. After all, there’s something impossibly gorgeous about a typewriter – maybe it’s the vintage charm, maybe it’s the physicality the noisy machine lends to the writing process, but people (and you can count us among them) go mad for typewriters, especially if they’ve been used by someone famous. Inspired by LIFE’s “In Praise of the Typewriter” photo gallery, we decided to compile all our favorite authors-at-work-on-typewriters photographs for your viewing pleasure, so click through to indulge in a little vintage literary eye candy.


DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #69: We Are All Savages Inside

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , — Bookblurb @ 2:00 pm

Dear Sugar,

I’m jealous. I’m jealous of people who succeed at what I do (write literary fiction). I’m jealous of them even if I love them or like them or respect them. Even when I pretend to be happy when my writer friends get good news, the truth is I feel like I swallowed a spoonful of battery acid. For days afterwards I go around feeling queasy and sad, silently thinking why not me?

So why not, Sugar? I’m 31. I’ve written a novel that I’m currently revising while searching for an agent (which is turning out to be more difficult than I imagined). I received a first-rate education, holding a BA from a prestigious college and an MFA from another prestigious college. Several people in my social and literary orbit have gotten the sort of five and six-figure book deals that I dream of getting. A couple of these people are jerks, so I don’t feel guilty for resenting their good fortune, but a few of them are good people whom I like and respect and, worst of all, one is a woman I count among my very best friends.

It makes me sick that I don’t feel happy for them, especially when it comes to my close friend, but there it is.

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